Explore the most popular trails near Culver with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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on Cove Palisades Loop

2 months ago

This is actually the Tam-a-lau trail - not sure why it’s listed as a different hike on here.

hiking
2 months ago

Really neat. Initial ascent is difficult but I’m a beginner and did ok. At the top of the plateau, I personally would skip the right side of the loop. It’s just a flat trail through brush. When you reach the loop sign at the top, I recommend going left to see the cliffs, then turning around when you’d like. You’re not missing any views or interesting terrain. Also, the sun beats down a lot harder up there! I got burnt with a good layer of sunblock.

Super cool hike!! First section up is a pain, but once you get up top it’s smooth sailing with lots of great views of Jefferson, Washington, Three Sisters, etc. and Billy Chinook below. Decent amounts of shade and not too crowded. If you’re going during the summer DEFINITELY wear and bring sunscreen, and lots of cold water. Very direct sun and very hot (6/19/18- about 80-85 degrees and no cloud coverage, did between 1pm-3pm).

hiking
3 months ago

Not an easy trail and there was a total lack of trail for a good part of it. Please see photo for lack of trail. I have lived in the area for over 35 years and this is not an easy trail. Misery Ridge, Black Butte and South Sister are all easier hikes none of which are rated easy. The views of Central Oregon are better from Black Butte. I am by no means a novice hiker or land navigator. I have hiked in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan and always hike with 50+ pounds in my pack. The "easy" trail posted by AllTrails could actually endanger people who are looking for an easy hike. If you do want to hike Gray Butte I suggest you plan a route using the service roads and making your ascent and descent on the south/south east side of the butte.

on Gray Butte

hiking
3 months ago

Not an easy trail. At least a third of it isn't. Awesome day to hike it was
55 F warm sun and 20+ winds. Tried to follow the track someone posted. Found no trail on the west side of their track so went "cross country ". Steep decent on N side up to 43% grade at times. It is a lot longer if you stay on the trail but I recommend doing so.

was amazing, a little rough going up well worth it gorgeous up top bring lots of water

I loved this hike! I camped at Lake Billy Chinook campground , that was a super convenient way to hike the trail. I hiked this 7/31/16. I started first thing in the morning while the campground was still quiet (6am-ish). This was a perfect time as I never got too hot during the hike. I didn’t complete the loop at the top. I finished at about 8ish. It is a desert type hike. The views were amazing! Make sure you have a camera! I only saw two sets of people on the trail this early. I did like the campground. However, it was super full with lots of people. Not my favorite kind of camping, but was just fine for one night en route to Eastern Oregon, with a pit stop at Smith Rock along the way.

5 months ago

Loved this trail, but wouldn’t call it easy. It’s rutted and not flat. I missed the trail head by about a quarter mile even though I used the gps coordinates. Great views and dog friendly. Will definitely go back again.

Enjoyable hike. First mile is the roughest and then the rest of it is flat. Saw 2 bald eagles hanging out, super neat. Very quite, not a lot of hikers there which is really nice.

I visited The Cove Palisades State Park on an overcast mid-January day.
There are apparently 3 ways to get to the trailhead: park at the day-use or boat ramp parking lots ($5) or start from your camp site (if you overnight there). From the trail-head information panel (sign up the register there if you'd like) it is about 1.25 uphill for a 600ft elevation gain. A bit of a workout but not really too challenging (depending on what shape you are in of course). The trail is sometimes narrow and (I got there after a few days of on-again/off-again rain) muddy. There are a few wooden steps sections in the first half but, again, nothing to put too much of a strain on joints.
Once on the plateau, the main objective is to complete the Tam-a-Lau loop (about 3.5 miles). The loop includes a 1.25 miles traverse between the Deschute River and Crooked River canyons, and hugs the edge of the plateau, above the rivers, for 1+ miles each side. As the trail stays very close to the edge, there are countless opportunities for carefully looking over the edge and taking pictures.
I decided to extend the standard loop by continuing on the dirt road on the west side of the Crooked River Canyon for about 0.66 miles until another dirt road branches at 90 degrees on the left to connect with the South Peninsula (dirt) road after .2 miles. I then descended the South Peninsula Rd for another .75 miles to the edge of the lower plateau above the Crooked River. I then got off the road and followed the edge of the lower plateau for a while; the views a quite amazing on that section too... but stay extra vigilant as it is a fully vertical drop to the river below and the edge is sometimes eroded and starting to separate from the main landmass.
Rather than retracing my steps up the South Peninsula Rd, I followed a use trail directly up to the summit plateau and the Tam-a-Lau loop.
I did give 5 stars on account of the stunning views of the river and the canyon walls (not to forget a short visit to the Crooked River petroglyph just off the road). You have however to love the desert to completely share my enthusiasm; not lush forests, no (accessible) water, sparse arid scrubby vegetation... this is likely a very hot and dry place if you visit it during the warmer times of the year. Of course, in you are here to enjoy water sports too, you would have many options to compensate for a sweaty day on the trail.

We just did this hike for the first time today. It is such a nice hike. Once we made it to the top we enjoyed a panoramic view of the mountains, the cove and the sounding landscape.

Great hike, all the elevation gain in the first mile. Glad we saved this for the fall, summer would be brutal!

11 months ago

great views of Central Oregon. no wind today. amazing hike. Hiked the loop trail to summit and back down service road. Awesome day

Cove Palisades state park is a hidden gem, great facilities, lake, picnic, boat rentals, etc. The hike is 7mi round trip from trailhead parking. You can park is lower lot and head towards campground….saves 1mi and trail runs right next to the lot. Nice views from the top.

hiking
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Good views at the top.

Recently hiked this trail (7/29/17). It was beautiful, and we saw so many animals including a doe, a rabbit, lizards, vultures, etc. I recommend doing this hike early in the summer because of the heat and there is no shade once you reach the loop. The elevation gain is all at the beginning of the hike and the bulk of the trail is flat. Great views of Mt. Hood, Bachelor, and the Three Sisters, as well as the amazing green color of Lake Billy Chinook.

Really hot and long to do in July. Probably better in a cooler season.

trail running
Friday, July 14, 2017

I'll second Charyl's review. "Low Effort, High Reward."

Low Effort, High Reward.

Beautiful view of Lake Billy Chinook from the top. Great hike!

We did it as a family we all loved it and even had a picnic at the rim. We can't wait to do the trail again in the fall. Great views. Great family time.

hiking
Friday, May 19, 2017

Hurry if you want to see the wildflowers. The weather was perfect today for mountain views. Not much traffic on the trail (McCoin Orchard trail head). The 'rough gravel road' to get up there is pretty gnarly from the heavy rains this year, and I was very happy I had AWD with my old Subie!

Gorgeous hike!

Just did some of this trail today. Absolutely amazing views. We didn't know Oregon had this to offer. We are no strangers to difficult "non-stroller friendly" trails but we hiked this one with our large wheeled stroller with our two year old... not recommended. It's a moderately difficult hike to begin with but with a stroller it was down right hard. So much so that we just had lunch at the top and returned. We hope to come back and finish once our kid is old enough to walk on his own. Our seven year old did fine. Lots of rocks... Wear good boots. Not for the faint of heart (steep dropoffs with 12" footing, no fall prevention) I'm not a runner but I'd say this is no running trail!

Once you get on top it looks pretty flat... still lots of rocks on the trail.

The campground is nice, has a nice off leash area for dogs! I wish Oregon Parks would be more friendly to "walk-in" campers. Who plans thier trips so far in advance to know which days to stay where? Kinda takes the fun out of it no?

hiking
Sunday, March 26, 2017

Beautiful! As of today 3-25 it was slightly muddy. The drive there was a lot more muddy than the actual hike but I also drove way in and didn't start at the actual trailhead.

hiking
Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Great views from the top. Deer and birds, trail in great shape. Nobody else on the trail over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Beautiful views!

Great hike. Been a couple of years since I have done this hike. Awesome views at the top.

Most of the hike was on top of the bluff. The vegetation was juniper & sage which covers most of central Oregon & so therefore pretty "ho-hum". One-and-a-half miles of the trail over look down into the gorge. This can cause a bit of vertigo, but worth the view...this is why it only gets two stars.

A great hike with spectacular views.

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